HERESIES  OF  WESTCOTT  AND  HORT  #8

Chapter VIII


Heresies in Eschatology


In this general division of eschatology, there is usually taken up the teachings on prophecy, judgments, the eternal state, and so on [cf. Chafer, Systematic Theology, Vol. IV]. In this area, I noted the following items, in various degrees, of heresy and/or error.


Westcott and Hort Held to Various Hereseis Concerning Eternal Life, Heaven, and the Eternal State


1. "Heaven" denied as a "Place," but only spoken of as a "state."


(John 1:18) The "bosom of the Father" (like heaven) is a state and not a place.

—Westcott—John, op. cit, p. 15


This is heresy, and the very opposite of the Lord Jesus Christ's clear teachings in John 14:1-3 where He speaks of going to prepare a "place" for us.


TRUE,  IF  WESTCOTT  BELIEVED  WE  NEVER  WILL  BE  IN  THE  PRESENCE  OF  THE  FATHER,  THEN  HE  WAS  IN  ERROR.



2. "Heaven" called the "region of absolute and eternal truth."


(John 3:13) hath ascended up (gone up) to heaven . . . No man hath risen into the region of absolute and eternal truth, so as to look upon it face to face, and in the possession of that knowledge declare it to men. . . .

—Westcott—:John, op. cit., p. 53


Again, this is spiritualization of heaven, and is heretical.


WELL  HEAVEN,  WHERE  GOD  IS,  IS  A  REGION,  A  PLACE,  OF  ETERNAL  TRUTH,  AND  AS  JESUS  SAID  IN  THIS  VERSE,  NO  HUMAN  HAS  EVER  GONE  THERE  YET,  ONLY  HE  THAT  CAME  DOWN  FROM  THE  PLACE  OF  ETERNAL  TRUTH.


VERY  WEAK  ARGUMENT  BY  WAIT.


3. "Heaven" is made to be devoid of any "local limitation," but only symbolical of that which is "spiritual." Westcott wrote:


(John 14:2) (In my Father's house) ... so it is to be conceived of the heavenly, as far as earthly figures can symbolize that which is spiritual. . . . But it is impossible to define further what is thus shadowed out. Heaven is where God is seen as our Father. We dare not add any local limitation, even in thought, to this final conception.

—Westcott—John, op. cit., p. 200


Again, this is heresy. Heaven is a prepared "place" as John 14:1-3 clearly states.


I  DO  NOT  SEE  WHERE  "LOCAL  LIMITATIONS"  USED  BY  WESTCOTT,  MEANS  HE  DID  NOT  BELIEVE  HEAVEN  WAS  NOT  A  PLACE  WHERE  GOD  LIVES.


WEAK  ARGUMENT  BY  WAIT.



4. "Heaven" seen as the "hope" of "Assimilation of the believer to his Lord." Westcott wrote:


(1 John 3:3) And every one that hath this hope in Him. The practical conclusion from the great Christian hope of the assimilation of the believer to his Lord is given as a coordinate thought. . . .

—Westcott—1-3 John';op. cit., p. 100


This is more heresy. The Christian will never be "assimilated ... to his Lord" in the sense of becoming "God" or even part of God. The Christian who is saved, on the other hand, will be made "like Christ" and be "conformed to the image of His Son." The "assimilation" concept is like Nirvana or something else/ and is not biblical.


IT  IS  THE  SEMANTICS  OF  WORDS  HERE  THAT  IS  UNDER  QUESTION.  I'M  NOT  SURE  WHAT  WESTCOTT  TAUGHT  THE  CHRISTIAN  WOULD  EVENTUALLY  BECOME.  WAIT  OBVIOUSLY  DOES  NOT  BELIEVE  THE  CHILD  OF  GOD  CAN  ONE  DAY  BE  A  FULL  PART  OF  THE  VERY  GODHEAD.  HE,  IS  VERY  WRONG.  YOU  NEED  TO  SEE  MY  STUDY  CALLED  "A  CHRISTIAN'S  DESTINY"  AND  FIND  OUT  WHAT  THE  TRUTH  OF  GOD'S  WORD  TEACHES  ON  THE  VERY  DESTINY  OF  A  CHRISTIAN.



5. "Heaven" again seen as "figurative only" regarding any "local language." Hort wrote:


(1 Peter 1:5) (reserved in heaven) It is hardly necessary to say that this whole local language is figurative only.. . .

—Hort—/ Peter, op. cit., p. 37

More Hortian heresy.


I  DO  NOT  SEE  THIS  AS  PROOF  THAT  HORT  DID  NOT  BELIEVE  IN  A  LITERAL  HEAVEN.  IF  HE  DID  NOT  THEN  YES  IT  WOULD  BE  HERESY.


Westcott Holds a False View of "Eternal Life," Seeing It as Present Only, and Not Going on Into the Future Eternity


(John 5:24) (hath eternal life) He who knows the Gospel and knows that the Gospel is true cannot but have life; eternal life is not future, but present. . . .

—Westcott-—John, op cit., p. 87


The truth is that eternal life is both present for the believer and future as well.


IT  COULD  BE  WESTCOTT  WAS  MEANING  ETERNAL  LIFE  IS  NOT  FUTURE  ONLY

BUT  ALSO  PRESENT,  WITHIN  US  NOW  AS  GOD'S  CHILD.


WEAK  ARGUMENT  BY  WAIT.


(1 John 3:14) "to enter into Life" ... in this largest sense "life"... is the fulfillment of the highest idea of being: perfect truth in perfect action.

—Westcott—1-3 John, op. cit, p. 112

This also is heresy.


I  DO  NOT  SEE  ANY  HERESY  HERE.  TO  ENTER  INTO  LIFE  NOW,  IS  TO  BE  A  PART  OF  PERFECT  TRUTH  IN  PERFECT  ACTION;  GOD  IN  US  IS  PERFECT  TRUTH  AND  PERFECT  ACTION.  NOT  THAT  WE  ARE  PERFECT  IN  TRUTH  AND  ACTION  ALL  THE  TIME.  WE  STILL  SIN  AS  ROMANS  7  AND  1  JOHN  1  SHOW  US,  BUT  THAT  IS  OUR  DOING,  OUR  WEAKNESS  OF  THE  FLESH;  GOD'S  PART  IN  US  IS  STILL  PERFECT  TRUTH  AND  PERFECT  ACTION.



(1 John 5:20) Eternal life is the never-ending effort after this knowledge of God.

—Westcott—1-3 John, op. cit., p. 196


(1 John 5:20) The "life eternal" is essentially present, so far as it is the potential fulfillment of the idea of humanity.

—Westcott—1-3 John, op. cit., p. 217


More heresy. Eternal life is the never-ending bliss of those who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ as their Savior which begins upon that faith, and never ends throughout all eternity future.


I  DO  NOT  SEE  ANY  HERESY  HERE  BY  WESTCOTT.  ETERNAL  LIFE  IN  US  NOW  MEANS  WE  CONTINUE  TO  GROW  IN  GRACE  AND  KNOWLEDGE  OF  CHRIST/GOD  AS  PETER  WAS  INSPIRED  TO  TELL  US;  AND  ETERNAL  LIFE  NOW  MEANS  FULFILLMENT  IN  THE  FUTURE.


WEAK  ARGUMENT  BY  WAIT.


Hort Spiritualizes the "Second Death" or "Hell" into a Combination of the Deluge and Sodom"


(Revelation 2:11) (the second death) Then as to the order of promises, the second death stands between the Garden of Eden and the Manna. It might thus be either the deluge, as Bishop Temple implies, well called the second death in contrast to the expulsion from the Garden. It probably is a combination of the deluge and Sodom, the Waterflood and the Fire-Flood.

—Hort—Revelation, op. cit., p. 27


This is false in the extreme, and constitutes a spiritualization of hell and the lake of fire which is the "second death " in Scripture.


IF  HORT  WAS  MEANING  THERE  IS  NO  LITERAL  SECOND  DEATH,  THEN  YES  HE  WOULD  BE  WRONG.


Westcott Taught the Heresy of the Post-Millennial Return of Jesus Christ


(Hebrews 10: 13) The return of Christ appears to be placed after the conquestion of His enemies. Compare 1 Corinthians 15:22 ff.

—Westcott—Hebrews, op. cit., p. 315


WESTCOTT  MAY  HAVE  HAD  A  POST-MILLENNIUM  TEACHING.  I  DO  NOT  SEE  IT  HERE  PER SE,  UNLESS  OTHER  WRITINGS  OF  WESTCOTT  MAKE  IT  PLAIN  THAT  HE  DID  HOLD  THIS  VIEW.  CERTAINLY  IF  WESTCOTT  DID  HOLD  A  POST-MILLENNIUM  VIEW  HE  WAS  IN  ERROR.


How about the "Rapture" of the living believers before the Tribulation? The Bible teaches clearly a pre-millennial coming of the Lord Jesus Christ, and not a post-millennial return.


WAIT  IS  WRONG  ON  THE  TEACHING  OF  A  "RAPTURE"  BEFORE  THE  END  TIME  GREAT  TRIBULATION;  BUT  ALL  FUNDAMENTAL  PROTESTANT  TEACHERS  ARE  WRONG  ON  THIS;  THOUGH  THEY  ARE  CORRECT  THAT  JESUS  WILL  RETURN  BEFORE  THE  1,000  YEAR  AGE  BEGINS.


Hort Denies the Literal Second Coming or "Revelation" of the Lord Jesus Christ


(1 Peter 1:7) (at the revelation of Jesus Christ) There is nothing in either this passage or others on the same subject, apart from the figurative language of Thess., to show that the Revelation here spoken of is to be limited to a sudden preternatural theophany. It may be a long and varying process, though ending in a climax. —Hort—1 Peter, pp. 44-45


Thessalonians does not have "figurative language" when speaking of the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. The "revelation" or "unveiling" of Christ will be sudden, and not a "process." This is heretical.


TRUE..... MANY  CHURCH  OF  ENGLAND  MINISTERS  LIKE  WESCOTT  AND  HORT,  DID  NOT,  DO  NOT,  BELIEVE  IN  THE  LITERAL  SUDDEN  COMING  OF  CHRIST.  SO  INDEED  TO  SO  NOT  BELIEVE  IS  ERROR,  AND  HENCE  HERESY.  THE  NEW  TESTAMENT  TEACHES  VERY  CLEARLY  JESUS  WILL  LITERALLY,  BODILY,  RETURN  TO  EARTH  IN  ONE  LITERAL  DAY,  WHEN  THE  SAINTS  WILL  BE  RESURRECTED  OR  CHANGED [THOSE  ALIVE]  INTO  IMMORTALITY,  AND  MEET  THE  LORD  IN  THE  CLOUDS  OF  THIS  EARTH.  ALL  THAT  TRUTH  IS  FOUND  IN  MANY  STUDIES  ON  THIS  WEBSITE.